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What Is a Family Lawyer?

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What Is a Family Lawyer?

A family lawyer, also known as a family law lawyer, provides legal services with regards to specific types of legal issues. These include services and representation with regards to matters like divorce, custody, adoption, paternity, and other family law matters.

Some family law cases may overlap with other areas of law like property laws, criminal laws, or tax laws. Thus, a family attorney may also need to be familiar with the criminal or property laws in the state where they are practicing.

Frequently, family lawyers may interact with other agencies or government departments. This is common in cases involving child custody, domestic violence, and other serious matters. Family laws vary from state to state, and may even vary from county to county, especially with regards to filing deadlines and other administrative matters.

What Is Family Court?

Family law disputes are often heard and processed through the family court or family law court system. This is overseen by a family law judge, who helps the parties to resolve whatever matters they are involved in. Family courts tend to be among the most overburdened and overworked court systems, especially when compared other courts like tax courts, will/probate courts, etc.

Due to the business of family court dockets, family law attorneys may often suggest that the parties attempt to resolve their disputes through alternative methods such as family mediation. These attempts to resolve disputes via alternative methods usually happen outside of court settings, but still require the assistance of family law attorneys.

What Is Family Mediation?

Family mediation is a process by which the parties in a family law dispute collaborate to reach a conclusion on their particular issue. For instance, in a divorce mediation, the parties may come together to settle how they will distribute their property. This can help shorten the overall time of the legal process and may also reduce costs. Mediation is also common for other issues like child custody and visitation scheduling.

Once the parties reach their conclusions, they can present their decision to a judge who will issue a final order. During the mediation process, the family lawyer represents their client and assists with matters such as negotiations, researching laws, and helping with possible solutions.

Do I Need a Lawyer for Help with Family Law Issues?

Family law issues can often be complex, as they can sometimes involve many different legal issues and may require the assistance of a lawyer. You may need to hire a qualified family law attorney in your area if you need help or representation regarding a family issue. Your lawyer can help represent you in court and can also be present during other meetings and hearings.

Photo of page author Jose Rivera

, LegalMatch Legal Writer

Last Modified: 03-10-2015 03:08 PM PDT

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